As we danced the Victory Dance (except for Noel, who, we all know, doesn't dance), clutching our £15 worth of vouchers, wondering how many lime-and-sodas we could buy, we couldn't help glancing across the room at the bigger victory dance and £50 cash, waved under our noses.
Both of us were victors, but, dammit, we had won the quiz. We had used our not-insubstantial brain power to romp home to victory. Bothers, sister and sister-in-law. The formidable Akers-Allen team. Granted, we wouldn't have won if there had been any soap questions, but these were proper questions (other than an iffy one about lamb abuse). Answered with cleverness, contemplation and a little bit of cockiness.
The quiz was accompanied by free food, though I was disappointed it wasn't the traditional dripping-and-bread, these new-fangled chilli and chips will never catch on. Shortly afterwards the landlord produced a giant-sized pack of cards, the lucky raffle winners got to Play Their Cards Right. It's a simple thing, guess whether the next card is higher or lower for the following nine cards. A game of chance. And shouting, lots of shouting. And the winner got £50. They'd have got £150 if they'd have done it first time, but the jackpot went down the more gos they had. The winners didn't even get them all – but they crowd wanted victors, and the landlord obliged.
Now call me churlish, but which takes the most skill, answering 26 out of 30 questions correctly, or guessing whether a card's higher or lower?
No-one has ever said brain power is more valuable than entertainment and shouting, you've only to compare a teacher's salary with, say, Jonathan Ross's millions. But still, taking part is the reward in itself…….and thre's always free food. Next time, we'll know not to eat beforehand. Though Noel and Dan could have managed another meal, they were just being polite.